Traumatization and Its Aftermath

A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

Non-Fiction - Self Help
349 Pages
Reviewed on 09/15/2023
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Author Biography

Antonieta Contreras, a former banker and management consultant originally educated as a mathematician is a Gestalt-trained psychotherapist who graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from NYU. After a few years of working at agencies with highly traumatized people, she received a specialization in Trauma Studies from the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapies (ICP) and in Human Sexuality from NYU School of Medicine. She maintains a private practice where she combines different trauma modalities she is certified in, as well as the contemplative techniques that she learned in India and from Tibetan Buddhist traditions. She has contributed to several non-for-profit organizations in different volunteer roles including two Buddhist organizations. She is a consultant, supervisor, and faculty at ICP where she has spent the last seven years building and teaching the curriculum of a postgraduate program for clinicians to become trauma therapists. She also teaches at NYU a class in sexual trauma, runs EMDR groups toward certification, and has given talks in hospitals, agencies, and universities with the purpose of creating awareness about trauma. Same motivation she used to write her book Traumatization and Its Aftermath

    Book Review

Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite

Antonieta Contreras, a board-certified neurofeedback clinician, details the neurobiology of trauma in her book, Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders. Contreras differentiates between trauma and traumatization, giving examples to clarify the meaning. The author explores many topics, such as why people develop trauma disorders and the ways these may surface in their daily lives. She discusses traumatizing agents and how they can prolong a person’s reaction to an event. The text touches on actions a person may take when they perceive a threat of trauma after experiencing a similar situation, how certain self-conscious states can cast a shadow on the mind, and outlines a clear diagnosis of PTSD. The book covers trauma in adults and children and reveals markers for identifying it.

The text makes the psychological terms more understandable and is current in terms of our knowledge of trauma and its repercussions. Without diminishing reactions to horrific events, Antonieta Contreras dissects traumatization and provides helpful diagrams for a more visual perspective. In one way or another, the material in this book may relate to almost everyone who reads it. I was intrigued by the stories Contreras shared and was interested in shame as a “destructive emotional state” and the brain’s protective mechanisms and what can activate them. The author delivers up-to-date research, eliminating misinformation, and steering others away from mislabeling without alienating or shaming readers. Traumatization and Its Aftermath would be a great addition to a psychology class, a good reference book, and a thoughtful gift for readers who are fascinated by the brain’s protective abilities.